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Trends Cogn Sci. 2009 Oct;13(10):447-54. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

Perceived social isolation and cognition.

Author information

1
Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. jcaciopp@uchicago.edu

Abstract

Social species, from Drosophila melanogaster to Homo sapiens, fare poorly when isolated. Homo sapiens, an irrepressibly meaning-making species, are, in normal circumstances, dramatically affected by perceived social isolation. Research indicates that perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness) is a risk factor for, and may contribute to, poorer overall cognitive performance, faster cognitive decline, poorer executive functioning, increased negativity and depressive cognition, heightened sensitivity to social threats, a confirmatory bias in social cognition that is self-protective and paradoxically self-defeating, heightened anthropomorphism and contagion that threatens social cohesion. These differences in attention and cognition impact on emotions, decisions, behaviors and interpersonal interactions that can contribute to the association between loneliness and cognitive decline and between loneliness and morbidity more generally.

PMID:
19726219
PMCID:
PMC2752489
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2009.06.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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